Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

14 July 2014

Old sample stitches and pot garden

Hello again my friends, another long absence, but I have been busy. It is also winter here so I have virtually been hibernating.

I have been working on the pages of my fabric book and wanted to share these below  with you. Originally the book was to be all about Tast Stitches I have now decided to include pages of my early attempts at embroidery.
The  photo below is my very first example when I went to learn basic stitching from Debbie Mercer in 1994. These particular stitches were in preparation for two projects with her...a silk ribbon bouquet and a crazy patchwork cushion.
In 1998 I undertook a creative embroidery course by correspondence and this was my very first sampler on running stitch
I have many special memories of the people who helped me along the way and who encouraged me so much.  Now I look back on some of my early work and shudder, but I was fortunate to mix with people who never discouraged me and only gave me the will to continue.

This week I am off back to the farm for a couple of weeks, where it wont be so cold and there is a fireplace. I will still be "on the air" with my tablet and fancy wifi.

 Before I go I would also like to share some photos of my pot garden.   At last my strawberries are fruiting with a lot more to grow and ripen and I have tomatoes coming along. My herbs are also flourishing.
As you can see the gum tree in the park is still shedding leaves everywhere.
bye for now

23 June 2014

I Am on a Roll with the pages.

I am beginning to think that some time this year I might....notice I said able to get close to a finish.   The book is going to be not so much a stitch dictionary, but a record of what I have been doing with my spare time over a period of 20 years.    That is of course apart from painting, and working on larger projects.

These are what I used to call my "scratchings" but they are making me feel they are more than that.  Anyway here are a couple more.
Please not that I am having trouble with my camera, and just cant get the perspective right and have had to resort to altering it as best I could on the computer.  So if things dont look straight it is totally an illusion.

 All three of these are a few years old and from when I was first learning to embroider.   The one above was when I was practising some different stitches i was teaching myself from books
Above is one of two samplers I worked with silk ribbon, and trying out the different flowers.  i was very much a novice then.
Here is another oldie.   I was doing a lot of crazy patchwork at the time, and some of these were just things I was working out to use. Don't you like my spider web.  I was taught this by Debbie Mercer who was my very first embroidery teacher when I started in 1994.  She was so talented and a wonderfully encouraging lady.

I am beginning to believe that all these scrappy pieces I have had put away are going to be made into something that someone in the family will value and want to keep.

The pile of pages to be completed is getting smaller and smaller.

18 June 2014

I Have a Finish

Well at least I almost have a finish!

 All I have to do now to my little art quilt project is to sew the backing on and make a hanging sleeve.  But the front is done.   I haven't decided what to call it yet.  The theme for the challenge was the word "Botanical". So if anyone can help me with a clever name for this I would appreciate it. I am terrible at coming up with names.

For the cap on the yellow mushroom I soaked some linen in a pan with some rusty nails and other rusty bits and pieces I found in an old tool box and then I boiled it up in a mix of tumeric powder in balsamic vinegar and that was the result.  The blue cap is needlelace. I might add that the vinegar stripped the rust from the nails.

 I loved the sheen of the velvet I used on the large mushroom and just happened to have some taffeta that I had pleated up ready for some smocking.  It had been in the box so long that when I removed the threads the pleats stayed there and was perfect for under the mushroom.

The "trees" in the background are cut from some fabric I painted and stamped. I have mounted the whole thing on some thick felt, and other fabrics are some I have had for a long time just waiting for the "right thing" to come along.

closed herringbone

This was a sampler I prepared for a stitching workshop
 I have been back to working on the pages for my fabric book.  It is growing.  The pages are 11.5cm x 11.5cm.  I am looking for a site where I can do some collages with the photos so I can post them in groups.

The pages are a mix of stitch samplers I have done for Tast (which stands for Take  a Stitch Tuesday with Sharon Boggon here)  and samplers I have done with other workshops, or when I have been sharing my own knowledge with friends .  This fabric book is the second I am working on, and includes samplers from my embroidery days from the beginning to the present day.

Dont know the name of this flower but it is giving a nice show in the garden here

This unusual little shrub is quite pretty

My fuschia is very happy in its pot, and never seems to stop flowering.
 I love geraniums and have several colours in pots on my back patio.
The weekend is almost upon us once more. The year is flying.  Have a nice day.

Sorry about the small text I have tried to make it larger but it doesn't seem to be working.  So hope it is on your computers.

22 May 2014

I Can See Again

Can you imagine not being able to see the bright colours clearly on these lovely plants or to be able to read a book.   If you imagine a veil covering the photos then that is how my sight has been recently.  I have had to use a magnifier on my head to see to do any of the everyday things like reading my phone messages and  reading my mail.  Checking out the groceries for place of origin was impossible.

Now though, I have undergone laser surgery to both my eyes, and these colours are now as clear as crystal again and the print is shape and black.   It is wonderful.  We do not appreciate just how important our sight is until we begin to lose it.
Now I am back to normal.....and it is such a long time since it was...I am anxious to get back to my embroideries.  I just hope I dont find so many mistakes that all my time is taken up in reverse sewing.

I am actually posting this without my glasses!!!!!

Off to read some more of my book.

18 May 2014


On this visit to serenity the daisies are in full flower, and the sunrises are just as lovely.  Unfortunately a lot of the garden is showing signs of neglect which is sad.  The pink rose has gone to heaven, 
It used to look like this...the pink one at the back

now it looks like this...
I made some progress with the garden, but even more progress in the kitchen.

There were sausage rolls, and there was soup.....
Not much room for anything else.

Last but not least, when I was a young girl my grandmother sang this song to me and I never forgot it.  A few years ago I was fortunate to find the sheet music for it......
Then while at the Gold Coast DIL actually found the song recorded from many years ago on u-tube.. This style of music may be well before the time of many readers, but it puts a spring in ones step just the same.

Just google

In Your Green Hat Nathan Glantz Arthur Hall Earl

click on this and it will take you to you tube.

Catching up

It seems so long since I was home in my new abode....and even longer since I posted here.  I had a lovely relaxing time at the gold coast, and was able to spend time with both my sons which Ienjoyed.  Over easter eldest son and his wife took me to lunch at a wonderful place called The Teavine Teahouse.  It is situated at the Gold Coast inland from Tallebudgera.
The grounds are lovely and ideal for taking photographs.

 Beside main meals, they are known for their  morning and afternoon teas served in beautiful china from lovely teapots, with choice from an array of delicious cakes.

As you can see while at the Coast we enjoyed some amazing weather, warm days, and continuous sunshine. It was magnificent.

My eldest son has recently upgraded his tablet and I was fortunate to receive his old one.  It is a Samsung Galaxy  and I am totally in love with it.  For mothers day they bought me a pink cover to keep it in...
I was able to purchase a wi fi gadget that allows me to connect to the internet when there is no internet connection available.  I have no idea how this works when I am away at "the farm" in the middle of nowhere. ...but it does.

My grandaughter has moved back to Queensland to live with her father, and it was wonderful to see her.  She is 17 in June, and is a delightful girl.  I love her to bits.
At the Gold Coast I was able to catch up with an old friend from my days in the art group where I lived at Rainbow Beach.  
 We met for coffee, and then adjourned to Broadbeach for lunch at my younger son's unit overlooking the ocean. This is the view we saw while sitting on the balcony enjoying our lunch.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Gold Coast, it was good to get home so I could have the laser treatment on my eyes.  I have had the left eye done, and am now having the right eye done next Tuesday.  The difference in my sight already has been remarkable so after Tuesday I will be able to see an ant at 60 paces.....cant wait for the further transformation.

I have only just returned from 2 weeks at "the farm" so will write a separate post for that.


26 March 2014

I Miraculously Survived The Move

Yes, I survived the move, but only just.  I am convinced that my brain died about a week ago though, and my eyes have been getting worse so it has not been all plain sailing.

Many of you will remember how I came to be in Toowoomba and the story of himself's family.   Well I have to say that I would not have managed the move without himself.   He came over and worked his little old heart off alongside me.

I sent him home battered and bruised and limping.  He forgot to bring enough tablets for his arthritus, and so  endured the results of his forgetfulness without a complaint..   I will be forever grateful to him and to my friend Gwen who motivated me to get moving and who bossed (read bullied) me so I got things done and packed up instead of wandering around in a daze.

So now I am in yet another abode, and hope I don't have to move again until I have seriously de-cluttered.  One thing at least I seem to be improving with each move and this unit is lovely although a little more expensive. It is larger than the other in the living areas, and so much light comes in it is wonderful.   Even though I did not know it at the time the owners of the other unit have done me a favour.

I love it and since my move have been sleeping so much better and hopefully the old dead brain will come back to life sometime soon.   Can you believe it was so bad I paid my phone bill TWICE!

Not that my phone provider Telstra deserved it because they did not connect up the internet when they said they would so I have spent the last 6 days fighting with them to get some results. 

Anyway it is all well that ends well so here are some photos of my new unit.
Living and dining area note all the windows

See my lovely kitchen which I wont have to turn on a light in every time I use it.  I can wash dishes looking out to the park  Much better than the dark hole I had before

Of course the sewing room where I managed to fit things because it was smaller with the help of a spare cupboard in the bedroom
I took the photos late in the day so it is hard to see just how much light comes in through all those windows.  I have an ensuite plus a second bathroom again as well.   The main bedroom is where the computer and single bed are and I am using the second bedroom as the main one.  

The courtyard out the back is larger and my plants look so much nicer out there.

My eyes are deteriorating all the time, and it has been horrific trying to  do all my paperwork that is involved with moving residences.   Cant wait for the end of April when hopefully I will have the laser surgery and thus improved sight.

My friend Dianne is due home from their holidays tomorrow I think it will be so good to see her again and have her home.

Now sewing done of course, but that will come.

Thank you everyone for you comments on my last post, and for visiting my blog.  I do appreciate hearing from my old and new  friends.

Until next time.....